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Her Mother's Daughter: A Memoir of the Mother I Never Knew and of My Daughter, Courtney Love Hardcover – January 17, 2006

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday (January 17, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385512473
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385512473
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,090,317 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Carroll, a writer and therapist, bore quite a cross in rearing her fiery, unstable daughter, the rock icon who sets this memoir in motion by trumpeting her pregnancy. Fearing a "curse of the firstborn daughter," Carroll is seized with the urge to seek her own biological mother and mend a tattered matrilineal line. She discloses her past with a sprawling account of Catholic schools, friendships, romances and pregnancies in 1960s San Francisco, in prose mired with detail but often wry and touching. Carroll's social-climbing adoptive parents seem at best ambivalent, at worst cruel. In 1993, after Courtney's rise to fame and stormy estrangement from Carroll, the author finds her biological mother: Paula Fox, the acclaimed children's author who became pregnant as an abandoned teen. The two are kindred spirits, and it's a heartwarming twist that the act of writing, on many levels, becomes Carroll's portal to her past. The promise of dish on Courtney and the emotional reunion with Paula—along with Carroll's tender wit and poignant honesty (Courtney's siblings saw her "as glamorous, but with sharp claws and teeth")—will keep readers soldiering through this often exhaustive history.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Despite the suggestive subtitle, Carroll's memoir is far less tell-all than it is her personal recollections of growing up feeling alienated from her adoptive family, her peers, and her religion. Born with an inquisitive mind, Linda has trouble relating to her tightly wound adoptive mother, Louella, and her sexually abusive adoptive father, Jack. While her friendships with other girls are deep and stable, her relationships with men prove to be much more complicated. Carroll finds herself pregnant at 18 by a man she does not love, but she marries him and gives birth to a girl, Courtney. The marriage does not last, and Carroll spends the next decade in search of happiness, marrying twice again and going as far as New Zealand as her relationship with Courtney deteriorates. Years later, when Courtney is pregnant with her own child, Carroll finally seeks her own birth mother and is surprised to discover she is renowned writer Paula Fox. A thoughtful memoir of one woman's coming-of-age in the turbulent 1960s and 1970s. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Linda Carroll, MS, has worked as a couple's therapist for more than 30 years. In addition to being a licensed psychotherapist, she is certified in Transpersonal Psychology and Imago Therapy, the highly successful form of couple's therapy developed by Dr. Harville Hendrix and Dr. Helen LaKelly Hunt. She is also a master teacher in the Pairs Psychoeducation Process, a nationally-recognized relationship education program for couples.

Linda has studied many modalities of psychological and spiritual work, including Voice Dialogue with Drs. Hal and Sidra Stone, Holotropic Breathwork with Dr. Stan Grof, the Four-Fold With Angeles Arrien, the Diamond Heart Work of A.H. Almaas, and training with The Couples Institute of Drs. Ellyn Bader and Peter Pearson. She is also certified in the Hot Monogamy program, which helps couples create or re-create a passionate connection between them.

Linda works with a limited number of couples regularly in a new style of "concierge therapy," in which she travels to their home or office for 2-6 days per year for private, all-day sessions, offering ongoing Skype and phone sessions in between. She teaches workshops and delivers keynote addresses throughout the United States and is a frequent speaker at Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico.

Linda lives in Corvallis, Oregon, with her veterinarian husband, Tim Barraud, and their dog, a Jack Russell Terrier. She has five children and nine grandchildren. In 2006, her memoir, Her Mother's Daughter, was published by Doubleday. In 2008, Remember Who You Are was published by Conari Press in San Francisco Her recent book, Love Cycles:The Five Essential Stages of Lasting Love was released in the fall of 2014 by New World Library.
Find her on the web at lindaacarroll.com or lovecycles.org

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Alex Nichols, author of Shadow Rock on February 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Although it starts slowly, Linda Carroll's "Her Mother's Daughter" emerges as a fascinating life story, full of sorrow and grace. Once I got into it I had great trouble putting it down. Her life is a rich one -- child of San Francisco priviledge turned hippie and mother of six, Carroll undergoes a staggering amount of personal loss while dealing with life's usual uncertainties.

The fact that Carroll is Courtney Love's mother is really only incidental to the story. The scenes between them are painful to read. I am only vaguely familiar with Love's side of the story, but she does not come off well. I sense this book is not the balm needed to bring mother and daughter back together. Readers will come away hoping they can resolve their problems before it's too late.

More inspiring is the reunion between Carroll and her birth mother, Paula Fox. This book has a happy ending of sorts, although we sense it isn't really the end of the story.

If you are a fan of "The Glass Castle" by Jeanette Walls you will probably like "Her Mother's Daughter" too. I know I did.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Killjoy on February 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
If you're like me, you would pick up this book in the store with a lot of skepticism. After all, in our "look at me" culture, another tell-all memoir by relations of famous and semi-famous people doesn't exactly sound like the most compelling read. But this book is an absolute suprise, and I'm not even in the ballpark of the right demographic. I'm 27, male, and although I admire very much the work of Paula Fox, I'm not really interested in Courtney, and I find memoir, generally, to be the least interesting literary genre. Also, I'm not interested in therapy or, for that matter, "mothers and daughters," except for my own mother, of course. NONETHELESS. What makes this book so interesting is, for me, that it offers such an interesting portrait of how we come to be who we are, and how we come to know what we know. There's no gratuitious pscyhologizing in Linda's memoir, and it offers instead a rich and nuanced look at her life--not from the "enlightened" point of view of somebody who has Made It or Come Out of the Darkness--but from what is the most neglected perspective in the whole genre: unflinching and unsentimental, a glimpse of a self that has spent a lifetime trying to understand who it is and why. In that respect, it belongs in the tradition not necessarily of the greatest writers (although her mother, Paula Fox, certainly deserves that accolade), but of those just-as-rare writers who manage to contribute a new insight into the condition of being alive.Read more ›
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Lizzi on February 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Linda Carroll has written such a good book I found myself reading the last page over and over because I didn't want the story to end.Each of the era's she descibed had characters that came alive with the flavor of the times, the stodgy fifties, the wild and defiant 60's, the alternative life 70's.Through all the losses in her life she kept finding the next thing to sustain her, and only after she found some peace in herself did she look for and find her birth mother,author Paula Fox. The only criticism I had was that I wanted to hear more about her mother,what it was really like after all the years of fantasizing about her. The last chapter is beautiful,honest, and raw, and I held the book for a long time before I closed it.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jane Atkinson on February 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Linda Carroll's book has so many interesting facets that are relevant to most people today. This is what makes it an easy and a great read. For those who are not adopted, this coming of age story resonates because of the universal themes that we all share: who am I, what is the meaning of my life, etc. That Linda is wedged between two "famous" women who are in the public, an intellectual writer and a popular culture figure, makes her story both interesting and timely, as we navigate our way through stressful times in the 21st century.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By NinaW on February 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
To be honest, I was turned off by the cover and passed it in the new book section at Borders in Santa Fe, but I read an excellent review in People and then a friend at work said it was one of the best books she had read. I borrowed it from her and took to the cabin to read over the weekend. I opened it after dinner Friday night, and once I started I couldn't stop until I was done with it.

My parents were hippies for awhile and I felt sorry for what her kids went through,all that love and peace and nobody to help them learn to read, but unlike this author, my parents never turned their lives around.

The book is fast-paced, honest, funny, and so so wise. I didn't know much about Courtney Love before I read it, I just thought she was another Hollywood nutcase, but now that I have seen her as a sweet child who had some obvious medical problem that nobody could help her with, I find her story and her recovery from drugs really fascinating to follow.

Linda Carroll managed to talk about a very painful childhood and more disappointing marriages than I have had relationships with such gentleness. She didn't make anyone evil, what a story!When I read the chapter where she finds her birthmother, Paula Fox, I realized I had been holding my breath from the beginning of the chapter.

I am recommending this book to everyone I know who loves a great read.
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